If you’ve played slot games before, you’ve most likely come across the term volatility. While it is an important aspect of slot games, it can be quite a complex concept to grasp.
This guide will answer all your questions about this term and what it means when applied to gaming. Keep reading to find out all about the different types of slot volatility, how to determine a slot game’s volatility, how it differs from RTP, and why it’s important to consider it when playing slots.
What Does Volatility Mean in Slots?
Also called slot variance, slot volatility refers to the frequency and size of wins, both in land-based, machine slots and online ones. It is an indicator to players of how big or small they should expect to win and how often, for a given slot game.
Generally speaking, high-volatility slots will usually trigger higher wins but with less frequency, whereas with low-volatility slots you’re more likely to win lower prizes more often. As such, volatility also helps you to assess the risk of a slot.
However, it’s important to mention that volatility is merely an average indicator. Remember that it’s always possible to trigger bigger and smaller wins, consecutively or further apart, in any slot game.
Types of Slot Volatility
Slot volatility can be categorized into low, low-medium, medium, medium-high, and high. Let’s have a look at all these volatility types below.
As you can probably figure out by now, low volatility slots are the safest choice in terms of risk assessment. By playing these slots, you’re more likely to strike more frequent (albeit smaller) wins.
Low to Medium
Low to medium-volatility slots offer slightly higher wins than low-volatility ones, so they’re a great compromise.
Medium-volatility slots are the way to go if you want to strike a balance between the risk of high-volatility slots and the sometimes frustrating experience of low-volatility ones.
Medium to High
Probably most players’ top choice in terms of variance, medium to high-volatility slots offer high wins and are not as unpredictable as high-volatility ones.
Highly volatile slots are the best choice if you’re looking for the highest wins. These slots have a higher chance of triggering bigger prizes but will do so more rarely. Again, it’s up to you what risk you want to take.
Very High Volatility
This category pushes the concept further. The rewards here are even less frequent than high volatility slots, but the potential prizes are much higher. These games are best for players who are willing to take more risk for the chance of bigger wins.
How to Determine the Volatility of a Slot Machine
Determining the volatility of a slot game prior to playing is a great way to ensure a rewarding and satisfying gaming experience as it lets you know the risk beforehand.
The first thing to keep in mind is that some casinos don’t make the volatility of slots public. Although most slots display a volatility index on the screen at the start of the game, you should still check for yourself when choosing what slot to play.
Another helpful indicator is the number of special features – slot that have more bonus rounds are likely to be more volatile.
Volatility vs RTP
RTP is another important term in slot games. It stands for “return to player” and is a ratio that describes how much you can expect to win out of a slot.
These concepts are related in that games with lower RTP rates tend to be more volatile, and vice-versa. However, they’re not synonyms. While volatility describes the frequency with which wins are triggered on a particular slot, RTP is related to how much that slot rewards players.
Why is Volatility Important in Slots?
After all this discussion about slot volatility, you might still be wondering why it’s important that you’re aware of it and how it impacts your gaming experience.
Knowing what volatility is and what it means can make your playing sessions a lot more enjoyable and risk-free because you have a better idea of what you’ll be getting. If you’re the type of player whose goal is to get more out of your spins then low-volatility slots are the way to go. If, on the contrary, you prefer to wait longer but score higher wins, highly-volatile slots will be your top choice.
Now that you know all about slot volatility, it’s your turn to find your favorite slots keeping in mind how likely they are to strike big wins and how frequently.
And always remember that volatility is not a guarantee. Despite being useful to predict the frequency and size of your wins, it is always a projection and not a certainty!
Related Slot Guides: